Video: Andersen, Kassanavoid lead U.S. to hammer gold, bronze at World Champs

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Brooke Andersen didn’t need to take her final attempt in Sunday’s women’s hammer final at the 2022 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. The 26-year-old was already the guaranteed the world title thanks to her fifth-round throw of 77.56 meters.

But Andersen made the most of her victory lap — or victory spin — anyway, launching the hammer 78.96 meters to put an exclamation point on her win. The Tokyo Olympian came just short of her personal best of 79.02, which she set in April.

“I was looking out across the field and I thought to myself, ‘I’m a world champion,'” Andersen said.

Canada’s Camryn Rogers finished as runner-up thanks to her third-round throw of 75.52 meters, while Team USA’s Janee’ Kassanavoid won bronze with a second-round throw of 74.86m. (A video highlight of the women’s hammer final is embedded above.)

After claiming bronze, Kassanavoid — a member of the Comanche Nation — paid tribute to the native land that this year’s World Championship competition is being held on. The University of Oregon is located on the traditional homelands of the Southern Kalapuya. The Kalapuya people were forcibly removed and relocated following an 1855 treaty that dispossessed them of their land.

“It’s super exciting to come out here and have this huge performance — on this huge scale, in front of the United States, on native land, on native soil — and medal,” Kassanavoid said.

2022 World Track and Field Championships: Day-by-day guide to the women’s events at Oregon22

American record holder DeAnna Price, the defending world champion, was unable to compete at Hayward Field after testing positive for Covid-19. Price’s 2019 world title marked the first ever for the U.S. in women’s hammer.

Poland’s Anita Włodarczyk, the four-time world champion and three-time reigning Olympic gold medalist, was also missing from the World Championship field. The 36-year-old suffered an injury in June after sprinting after somebody who broke into her car. She caught the thief, but her leg injury required season-ending surgery.

The NBC Sports research team contributed to this story. 

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC